[With A Good Day to Die Hard set to open this Thursday, we'll be taking a look back at the first four Die Hard movies. These reviews will contain spoilers since the movies have been out for years.]
When I hear the words “best action movie”, I immediately think of Die Hard. No other film even comes close. It is pure action removed from sci-fi or any other genre. Even though there were plenty of blockbuster action movies in the 1980s, Die Hard is unique in how it constantly puts its hero at a massive disadvantage. To the extent that a blockbuster will allow, John McClane (Bruce Willis) is the everyman. Schwarzenegger and Stallone were the physically imposing heroes, but Willis brought a scrappy quality to McClane even though the character’s actions verged on superhuman. Although he’s very hard to kill, McClane is both the reluctant hero and the ideal 1980s American hero. From its unforgettable protagonist, Die Hard took on an identity that made it distinct and enduring.